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"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Ruth Bavetta


After the Wildfire

After the air is no longer electric
and the fixed points of the compass
return, after the field on the hill
has cooled to white and flames
no longer weave the trees,
the eucalyptus twists like tin
and the chaparral is milled
to western dust.

A breeze moves powder in pale spirals
swirling gently above the roof
of the only home remaining.
A child crosses the road
to the ashy skeleton of the oak,
bearing water in a white paper cup.